Payroll Jobs Down in Twelve Metro Areas as Impact of COVID-19 Begins

Contact: Sam Salustro | 312.550.1582 | Rebecca Cisco | 17.524.1219 


4/23/20 - The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in March in twelve Illinois metropolitan areas according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also shows the unemployment rate temporarily decreased over the year due to the shrinking of the labor force as businesses began to close and workers transitioned due to COVID-19. The unemployment rate and labor force fell in thirteen metropolitan areas.  

“From day one, this administration has pursued policies that support our working families and help lift up every Illinoisan,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “Keeping our communities safe during the COVID-19 outbreak remains a top priority and we will continue to champion worker protections, expand access to our benefits systems, and support small businesses navigating this challenging time.”  

Data shows the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in twelve Illinois metropolitan areas and increased in two. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Rockford (-4.0%, -6,000), Peoria (-2.5%, -4,300), and Lake-Kenosha (-1.7%, -7,200).  Jobs were also down in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights (-0.2%, -8,800). Illinois businesses added jobs in Kankakee (+2.0%, +900) and Champaign-Urbana (+1.3%, +1,500). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Education and Health Services (10 of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares March 2020 with March 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.4 percent in March 2020 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March 2020 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan AreaMarch 2020*March 2019**Over-the-Year Change
Champaign-Urbana 2.6%4.3%-1.7
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights5.0%3.9%1.1
Danville 3.8%5.7%-1.9
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL4.2%4.8%-0.6
Decatur 4.4%5.8%-1.4
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI3.7%5.2%-1.5
St. Louis (IL-Section)3.0%4.6%-1.6
Illinois Statewide4.4%4.4%0.0
* Preliminary I ** Revised    

Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – March 2020

Metropolitan AreaMarchMarchOver-the-Year
Bloomington MSA91,70092,200-500
Carbondale-Marion MSA57,70058,600-900
Champaign-Urbana MSA116,600115,1001,500
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division3,733,5003,742,300-8,800
Danville MSA26,80027,200-400
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA184,200185,000-800
Decatur MSA49,40050,200-800
Elgin Metro Division256,800258,400-1,600
Kankakee MSA46,10045,200900
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division406,500413,700-7,200
Peoria MSA165,000169,300-4,300
Rockford MSA144,200150,200-6,000
Springfield MSA108,100109,400-1,300
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA237,900238,600-700
Illinois Statewide6,008,9006,048,700-39,800
*Preliminary | **Revised